Personal branding vs corporate branding

You’re looking at branding your new business or having a rebrand, you’ve heard the words personal branding floating around but are unsure on what it means or if it’s the right thing for you to do?

Read this blog post by a branding designer to find out whether you should brand yourself (personal branding) or brand your business (corporate branding / business branding) and find out the pros and cons.

What is personal branding?

Personal branding is all about branding the person, the leader. It focuses on your personal values and you become the face of the business.

What is corporate branding?

Corporate branding also known as business branding is branding your business as a separate entity. It has its own set of brand values.

How do I know what is right for me?

The first thing I would suggest when considering whether to go down the personal branding route or the business branding route is to have a clear understanding of your target customer (you can read my blog post on that here.) And having a clear idea of where your business is at and where it is heading, again I have business profile guide which you can read here.

These 2 bits of research are really important to do before you do any type of branding work.

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Persoanl branding

Pros of personal branding

  • Makes more sense for freelancers, one man bands, people offering services, public figures and influencers
  • Easier to gain the like, know and trust factor
  • Highlights your expertise and experience
  • Quicker to develop brand values, tone of voice and a design style
  • Easier to show up online and talk 1:1 to your target customers
  • No coming up with brand names and trying to find url’s or handles which haven’t already been taken

Cons of personal branding

  • Requires courage, you’re putting yourself out there
  • Makes it more difficult for your business to scale (add more members to your team)
  • Harder to keep a life / work balance. Not as clear cut boundaries.
  • May have less strategy and awareness of the business
  • If you have a very common name you may not be able to get the url or handles you want
  • If not done properly it might not look as professional as corporate branding

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Corporate branding

pros of corporate branding

  • Makes more sense for businesses offering products
  • Makes more sense if you’re a bigger team of people offering a variety of services
  • Better if your personal values don’t align with your business values
  • May be perceived as more trustworthy with heritage and age behind the business
  • Can compartmentalise your business from yourself

cons of corporate branding

  • Can feel like quite an overwhelming task if you’re starting out
  • May look silly if you are only one person pretending to be loads of different roles or departments
  • If the branding isn’t memorable or you have unique selling point you run the risk of blending in with your competitors
  • Corporate branding can turn off a lot of people and cause distrust depending on the industry
  • If you evolve or pivot you may need to rebrand or create a second business

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MELISSACARNE.COMYou're looking at branding your new business or having a rebrand and are unsure on which brand strategy is the right one for you?OR YOUR BUSINESS? SHOULD YOU BRAND YOURSELF personal vs corporate branding

Summary

If you’re one person business and don’t ever intent on expanding and hiring members to your team then I would say that branding yourself is the way to go.

FYI this doesn’t mean that you can’t have your own logo and brand identity, I would actually encourage it. (Check out my brand packages). It just means that your business name is probably going to be your name plus your discipline e.g Melissa Carne Design.

It also means that you are the face of it and everything is done in your tone of voice. However, you can choose to play up certain parts of your personality and down play others in order to appeal to you target customer. With a personal brand you can still differentiate your personal life with your business, just like how you don’t post your whole life to social media. It’s actually good to set boundaries.

If you’re still unsure what is best for you and your business then I would suggest talking this through with a graphic designer / branding designer.

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